Interior to study new round of oil, gas leases in Alaska


Between now and Oct. 1, federal scientists will be reviewing what they already know about the Beaufort and Chukchi seas -- as well as looking for what gaps remain in scientific knowledge of the region, and what it will take to close them.

…The Interior Department will not include the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in its scientific review, Salazar said. On Tuesday, he reiterated the Obama administration's approach to the onshore sanctuary, which last week began a two-year management review that could lead to designating more of the refuge as wilderness. ANWR "is not on the map for exploration or development," Salazar said. "It never has been under President Obama and it hasn't been for me as secretary of Interior."

…Environmentalists for the most part said they're pleased with the review plan. "The Obama administration seems to recognize that much more science is needed, and that we need to focus particular attention on the challenges of spills and spill response in icy Arctic waters," said Chris Krenz, Oceana's Arctic project manager.